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The 10 Best Concerts in Phoenix This Week

KOLARS are scheduled to perform on Friday, December 6, at Valley Bar.
KOLARS are scheduled to perform on Friday, December 6, at Valley Bar. Big Picture Media
Welcome to the holiday season in the Valley. Tinsel and garland are everywhere, there’s plenty of yuletide tunes on the radio, and the concert calendar is loaded up with special themed shows.

It’s not all holiday shows. The concert offerings from Monday, December 2, to Sunday, December 8, will include performances by KOLARS, Angel Olsen, Lee Fields & the Expressions, King Diamond, Pete Yorn, and The Slackers.

Details about each of these shows can be found below. And for even more live music happening around the Valley over the next seven nights, hit up Phoenix New Times' online concert calendar.

click to enlarge Mirror, mirror on the wall: Angel Olsen is the raddest of them all - CAMERON MCCOOL
Mirror, mirror on the wall: Angel Olsen is the raddest of them all
Cameron McCool

Angel Olsen

Monday, December 2
The Van Buren

Released last month to universally positive reviews, Angel Olsen’s latest album, All Mirrors, has ratcheted her already ascending stardom into another echelon. With lush string arrangements and a muscular production that supports nearly every track’s esoteric laments and observations, Olsen’s songwriting sounds grander but actually deals in more obfuscated topics than many of the biting confessionals that dotted the landscapes of her earlier releases. However, in interviews she has referred to this one as her “angry record,” so maybe the characters inhabiting these sketches are more autobiographical than realized. Regardless of their characterization, these new songs should sound fully cinematic and mesmerizing in a live setting. See for yourself when Olsen comes to The Van Buren on Monday night. Vagabon opens the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $28.50-$32.50. Jeff Strowe

Jacob Jolliff Band

Tuesday, December 3
MIM Music Theater

When he's not touring with Yonder Mountain String Band, mandolin player Jacob Jolliff is on the road with his hard-picking bluegrass-inspired outfit, The Jacob Jolliff Band. Thirty-year-old Jolliff, who was also a member of the indie-pop-influenced new acoustic group Joy Kills Sorrow, doesn't miss a beat, putting his vocal and instrumental skills to use in a variety of settings. It's all part of his ongoing musical growth, which began in his father's gospel and bluegrass group while he was growing up in Oregon. Since he first hoisted his instrument at the age of 7, Jolliff's dedication to his craft has paid off, and in 2012 he won the National Mandolin Championship in Winfield, Kansas. You can catch Jolliff in concert on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at MIM Music Theater. Tickets are $28.50-$38.50. Nick Hutchinson

The Slackers

Wednesday, December 4
Crescent Ballroom

Ska, at its core, is unpretentious, buoyant, and just plain goofy. But it has deep soul and jazz attached to its calypso roots, a fact that hasn't been forgotten by The Slackers. Formed 15 years ago in New York City, the horn-packing sextet eventually signed to Epitaph Records (and, later, Rancid's Hellcat imprint), releasing a string of discs featuring singer Glen Pines's impassioned rasp that paid homage to the traditional ska and rocksteady eras of The Skatalites and The Paragons. They’re scheduled to perform on Wednesday night at Crescent Ballroom. The show is at 8 p.m. and Viernes 13 and Gabriela Penka will open.Tickets are $17-$27. Jason Heller

click to enlarge Death metal legend King Diamond. - METAL BLADE RECORDS
Death metal legend King Diamond.
Metal Blade Records

King Diamond

Wednesday, December 4
Comerica Theatre

A Dane whose shrill voice is piercing enough to shatter thy cup of hallowed blood, King Diamond is one of the more recognizable (and bizarre) faces in death metal. Since his days in ’80s premier occult act Mercyful Fate, King Diamond (born Kim Bendix Petersen) has been possessed by an obsession with Satan and shock-rock theatrics. This was clear on the group’s progressive-metal classics Don’t Break the Oath and Melissa, which were released during the first half of the ’80s. After going solo later that same decade, he unveiled releases like Abigail and Them. Then, he returned to the coven and released more than a dozen albums, including 2007’s Give Me Your Soul … Please, to a mainly underground following. He’s 63 years old, and his satanic shtick is not so much offensive as it is amusing, but King Diamond’s demonic legacy continues. He’s scheduled to perform on Wednesday night at Comerica Theatre. Idlehands and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats will open the 7 p.m. show. Tickets are $39.50-$59.50. Omar Perez

click to enlarge Angels & Airwaves will help kick off Alt AZ 93.3's Ugly Sweater Concert Series - APA AGENCY
Angels & Airwaves will help kick off Alt AZ 93.3's Ugly Sweater Concert Series
APA Agency

Alt AZ’s Ugly Sweater Concert Series

Wednesday, December 4
Marquee Theatre, Tempe

‘Tis the season for holiday shows sponsored by local radio stations. The folks at Alt AZ 93.3 are planning three separate editions of their annual Ugly Sweater holiday concert series, with the first taking place on Monday night at Marquee Theatre. Alt-rock/neo-prog band Angels & Airwaves and the awesomely named indie pop/electronic rock band I Don't Know How But They Found Me will perform. The show gets going at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40, and it's a standing-room-only affair. As the event’s name portends, ugly sweaters are very much encouraged, be they actual ugly sweaters or cutesy printed pullovers. Benjamin Leatherman
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Phoenix New Times Music Writers